Hi there ! Thanks fot the fantastic article.
I wonder about this fragment
> The 'aeration theory' really developed in the northern hemisphere where
> the extended cold winters prevent microbial decomposition of organic
> residues in soil. In spring it is advantageous to stimulate the
> decomposition rate so that plants can obtain nutrients during a
> relatively short growing season.
cause that's where I am at the moment.
I want to grow something in the old fallow. Where I live in eastern Poland winters are strong and long 4-5 months, but then summer is quite warm and sunny and with clay soil the moist is there as well. In my region they grow beans, wheat, tabbaco and sugar beets and other stuff with sucsess.
Lets come back to that fallow - actually there is so many of them beautiful tall grasses with various small trees and other plants (quite a variaty). But as I check second spring here, walking on that fields , the old dry grass which collapsed in the autum/winter doesnt realy decompost(probably just very slowly), new staws come through the thick layer of grass and the field is getting more grassy and bushy every year. The new grass can get easier through the mulch then other plants(like clover) and perrenial bushes and trees are out of competinion.
Last year I planted there, after cutting the grass and nettle, some beans, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, buckwheat, clover, mustard. The results where very poor. I think there might be nitrogen deficciency, as by accidence I find out that the only normal size potato plant grew next to alfalfa bush. So this year I wanna plant some beans( last year there get sick and yellow and very few) /clover(went ok)/alfalfa.
But before that I would like to help that grass decomposition prosses
as Alan Smith suggests. I remember Fukuoka throwing some chicken manure or even clay on the top of the straw in the autum.
I think about some shallow initial tilling.
What do you think guys?
And second question :When growing plants (grain for example) in the white clover what do you do with the clover? When you cut it, do you leave it on the field? Or you can take it and put on the other field as mulch. Or maybe dont cut it at all??
All hints will be very appreciated.